May 21, 2022

New Research: “Fragments of Peer Review: A Quantitative Analysis of the Literature (1969-2015)”

The following article was recently published by PLOS ONE.


Fragments of Peer Review: A Quantitative Analysis of the Literature (1969-2015)


Francisco Grimaldo
University of Valencia (Spain)

Ana Marušić
University of Split (Croatia)

Flaminio Squazzoni
University of Brescia (Italy)


PLOS One 13(2): e0193148
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193148


This paper examines research on peer review between 1969 and 2015 by looking at records indexed from the Scopus database. Although it is often argued that peer review has been poorly investigated, we found that the number of publications in this field doubled from 2005.

A half of this work was indexed as research articles, a third as editorial notes and literature reviews and the rest were book chapters or letters. We identified the most prolific and influential scholars, the most cited publications and the most important journals in the field.

Co-authorship network analysis showed that research on peer review is fragmented, with the largest group of co-authors including only 2.1% of the whole community.  Co-citation network analysis indicated a fragmented structure also in terms of knowledge. This shows that despite its central role in research, peer review has been examined only through small-scale research projects.

Our findings would suggest that there is need to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing across different research communities.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.